Sunday, July 17, 2011

Five notable odds for Week Two of the CFL season

Unlike certain pilots, we don't complain around these parts when someone tells us the odds. Bodog has supplied us with an interesting collection of CFL odds for this week's games, and they've got relevance beyond gambling; the odds have some notable things to say about how different players and teams are seen, and how that perception has changed. Here are five of the most intriguing ones:

? The oddsmakers still like Kevin Glenn: Glenn (seen above taking a hit from Winnipeg's Doug Brown last Friday) got pulled for backup Quinton Porter last week after throwing three interceptions in a 24-16 loss to Winnipeg, but will remain under centre this week against the Edmonton Eskimos (Saturday, 7 p.m. Eastern, TSN and NFL Network). The Edmonton pass defence was pretty aggressive last week against Saskatchewan, too, picking off Darian Durant three times. Despite that, the over-under for Glenn's interceptions in Week Two is set at just 0.5. It's not inconceivable that he could have a game with no interceptions, but last week's trends certainly wouldn't suggest that.

? They're fans of Darian Durant, too: Durant had four total turnovers in last week's loss to Edmonton (three interceptions and a fumble), but his over-under for turnovers against the dangerous Montreal Alouettes' defence (Saturday, 4 p.m. Eastern, TSN and NFL Network) is set at just 1.5. It's easier to see him being under here than Glenn, but last week's showing and the defence he's facing would suggest it won't be easy for him to keep control of the ball.

? Quarterbacks as a whole, not so much: The over/under on the number of quarterbacks recording 300-yard-plus passing games is set at 3.5. That's not very high in the pass-oriented CFL. Yes, only three actually hit 300 last week (Travis Lulay and Anthony Calvillo both did so in the Montreal-B.C. shootout, and Durant did the same against Edmonton), but Ricky Ray was just six yards short and Henry Burris was only seven short. The Winnipeg-Toronto game (Friday, 7:30 p.m. Eastern, TSN) may be low-scoring, but every other game looks like it could turn into a shootout this week, so the over here might be the smarter move.

? Calgary's offence still carries question marks: The Stampeders blew away the CFL field last year with a league-high 626 points, 105 better than second-place Montreal. No one else even passed 500. Yet, the Stamps were held to 21 points last week in a 23-21 loss to Toronto. However, the Stampeders went one-for-four on field goals thanks to an injury to kicker Rob Maver, and the Argonauts' defence is quite good. In a game against B.C. (Friday, 10:30 p.m. Eastern, TSN) that might get quite high-scoring with both teams airing it out, Calgary seems likely to return to form.

? The oddsmakers aren't buying Winnipeg stock: Despite winning their first game last week (in ugly fashion), the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Grey Cup odds actually went down from 10/1 (preseason) to 11/1. Granted, I still wouldn't take those odds, as this does appear to be a rebuilding year for Winnipeg, and they weren't overly convincing despite the win. Still, it's not every day you see a team considered less likely to triumph thanks to a victory.

Karen Carreno Bijou Phillips Marika Dominczyk Dita Von Teese Rachel Nichols

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